Elder neglect is a form of elder abuse. Even if the harm is unintentional, it’s possible that poor care practices could be categorized as neglect. Family members and caregivers should be on the lookout for this form of physical abuse.

Elder Abuse vs. Elder Neglect

Typically, elder abuse refers to intentional activities that cause harm to a vulnerable adult. Even if a caregiver doesn’t mean to cause harm, the lack of basic care could be categorized as neglect. If a caregiver fails to provide the rudimentary needs of life, then it could result in a dangerous situation for the elder. These needs include food, water, shelter, climate control, medications and medical assistance, and personal hygiene support.

Why Neglect is Dangerous

Failure to keep a person hydrated and fed could result in serious medical complications. Additionally, a bedridden person needs to be repositioned and regularly moved to reduce the risk of bedsores. A lack of proper care can lead to dire or life-threatening situations for elders. Some of the possible situations include:

  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Infections
  • Bedsores

Whether living at home or residing in a care community, each person has the right to quality care. Vulnerable people can be of all ages, but seniors are at higher risk. Health problems can increase the risk, leaving the patient unable to defend themselves.  Further, this form of neglectful abuse can come from a caregiver, custodial care provider, family member, neighbor, or any other person who comes in contact with the victim.
If you suspect neglect or any other form of elder abuse, it is essential that you report the situation. It is your responsibility to care for your loved ones, which is why you shouldn’t hesitate to take action if neglect or any form of abuse is suspected. If you fear immediate physical danger, dial 9-1-1. If you think investigation is warranted, contact the local office of Adult Protective Services.
Do you have questions about elder abuse or neglect? Email info@SeniorSafeAndSound.org or call 858-480-7551. Senior Safe and Sound.
This information is intended to inform the public at large about this important issue. It is not intended to serve as legal or medical advice.